Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Brutally Honest Rant - 11/29/06

Brutally Honest Audio Rant: Imperium Issues
Audio Transcripts

[Start Program]

(Computer – Introduction)
(Music intro – "American Idiot Remix" – by Green Day and David Matthews 2)

Good evening, and welcome to this week’s Brutally Honest Rant. I’m David Matthews 2, writer of the weekly online column Brutally Honest.

Well we’re getting close to the end-of-year break here at the Brutally Honest Command Center. I’ve been doing these breaks for almost as long as I’ve been doing online columns, which is ten years now. I usually take about a month off from both the weekly column and the weekly audio rants or broadcasts so I can enjoy the holidays and get things geared up for next year.

The one thing that I do keep going during the holiday break is the weblog page, because I know that there are things that go on that happen during the break, and some of them just can’t wait until I get the column restarted in January. So by all means, if you haven’t done so, please keep checking in with the Brutally Honest weblog at d-2-brutally-honest-dot-blogspot-dot-com. For those of you know how to do it, there’s an RSS feed or "live bookmark" that you can set up so you’ll know that if there’s something new going on you’ll be the first to know about it.

But we aren’t at the break yet… so before that happens, I thought that I’d take some time to answer a few questions pertaining to my stances on the Bush Junior White House… otherwise known as the dreaded Bush Imperium!

Now for those of you who are new to the world of Brutally Honest, you need to understand that I’ve only been referring to the White House as under George W. Bush as the Bush Imperium for less than two years now. Before that I was calling it the Bush Administration… or the Bush Junior White House. I’m obviously not a supporter of "Da Big W"… never have been. I’m a libertarian through and through. I didn’t vote for him. I didn’t WANT him to be elected… but then again I also didn’t want his Democrat alternative to win. But I made the conscious effort back in 2001 to give Bush the benefit of the doubt. I gave him the opportunity to BE an effective president… to BE the kind of leader that we expect. And if he DID do those things and he and his people lived up to those basic expectations, then I wouldn’t have come up with the moniker to begin with.

So here’s a good question that I’m sure some of you are wondering about…

Now that the Democrats have taken over the Congress, does that end all of this talk about the Bush Imperium?

No. It doesn’t end it, because the forces behind it are still present.

Let’s get brutally honest here… there’s more to the whole talk about the "Bush Imperium" than just throwing names about. There’s an attitude behind it as well, and that attitude comes from those in the White House in how they carry themselves and how others see them.

In over the five years that the Bush Junior people have controlled the White House, they have developed this attitude that they can do whatever the hell they want to. Whatever they want, they’ll get it. They can re-write the laws that Congress passes. They can ignore any laws made to limit the scope of their powers, even the restrictions set down in the US Constitution, which are supposed to BE the law of the land. You would think that "law and order" people would RESPECT such limitations, but they don’t. Instead, they consider these to be minor details that can be avoided, ignored, or outright VIOLATED just by uttering a certain mantra. And you know which mantra I’m talking about, don’t you?

If it looks like the Bush Imperium has been doing a half-assed job in Iraq, it’s partly because we all got goaded into it before we were finished with Afghanistan! Oh yeah, we still have troops in Afghanistan and Pakistan looking for Osama, but so far we’ve had better luck finding what few weapons of mass destruction still exist in Iraq than we are in finding the leader behind that unnamed aforementioned mantra. And then on top of that, we have a president that demagogued last year’s gas crisis to push for an energy bill that was a complete and unmitigated JOKE. Then he decided that it was more important to take guitar lessons from Esteban and then fly off to a GOP fundraiser in San Diego than to deal with a Category 5 hurricane that was about to hit New Orleans and the hub of America’s oil supply for the East Coast. That’s not leadership. That’s negligence.

So yeah, the Bush Junior White House EARNED the title "Bush Imperium". But you know what? They weren’t the only ones who earned such a moniker.

Ten years ago I was railing on against the White House, only back then it was under the firm control of a Democrat… and her husband. Just kidding. Seriously, though, back then I refused to call the White House under President Bill Clinton as an "Administration" either. I called it the "Clinton Regime" because they ACTED more like a regime than a legitimate government. They were more interested in covering their asses than in doing their jobs! And they were pretty good at doing that. They managed to get away with a LOT of stuff because they knew how to manipulate the system. The only thing they weren’t able to get away with was something really petty and stupid… a blowjob. And that was Bill Clinton’s own damn fault.

And bear in mind that the Clinton Regime had to deal with SIX of its eight years under Republican control of the Congress, and yet they still managed to carry themselves around like pompous asses. The Bush Imperium, on the other hand, only has to deal with TWO years under Congressional Democratic control. So if you think that I’m being TOO HARD on Junior, then you need to go over both history AND my track record. I may call Junior a dufus, but at least I’m not calling him a slimy smooth-talking narcissistic despot.

So when WILL the imperial references end? When WILL I be willing to call the Bush Junior White House the "Bush Administration" again?

Well that’s entirely up to the folks in the White House. There are a whole lot of "ifs" involved:

… if they want to demonstrate that they can go through the last two years without acting like a bunch of Romans drunk on power…

… if they can demonstrate that they know that catering to Christian theocrats is just as bad as catering to Islamic theocrats, and that the only difference between the two theocrats are a bomb and a gun…

… if they can recognize and respect the rule of law instead of trying to subvert it with executive orders and signing statements…

… if they can abandon their use of fear-mongering for political gain…

… if they can actually SELL the rest of the world on what freedom is instead of just throwing the word about and saying that it will magically appear through democracy…

… if they can remember that there is a difference between criticism and treason, and that this difference is spelled out in plain English in a document that they took an OATH to protect, preserve, and defend…

… if they can remember that the devastation caused by a hurricane – even a Category 3 storm - is FAR MORE IMPORTANT that some stupid political fundraiser on the other side of the country…

… if they can remember that they serve the American people and not a bunch of foreign oil barons…

… if they can accept the fact that the only reason why the leaders of Iran and Venezuela can act like complete dickheads and get away with it is because we’re still having to buy their oil, and that the only way to shut them up and put them in their place is for us to be able to go through our normal day WITHOUT their oil…

… if they can understand that if they want our continued support in Iraq that we need to know what "victory" REALLY means and what it will take for our soldiers to come home, and that saying "trust me" is NOT an acceptable substitution…

… and lastly… if they can actually behave like the LEADERS they claim to be…

… if they can do all that, then MAYBE they would be worthy of being referring to as an "administration" again.

Sadly, I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Junior still has his inner circle – minus Rumsfield of course – and they seem to think that the only reason why the Republicans lost power is because they weren’t CONSERVATIVE enough. That’s not good for them, or for us. Right now we can only HOPE that they will be willing to work with the new Democrat leaders in January and not try to subvert them at every opportunity.

It is one thing to lead… it’s another thing entirely to lead and actually have others willing to FOLLOW. A good leader knows the difference.

(Computer – a few timely things that you’ll have to listen to appreciate)
(Fade Music In – "Mythodea" by Vangelis)

There is a fine line between leadership and tyranny… but it is a line nonetheless. And the more power you have over others, the harder it is to see that line, and the easier it is to cross it.

Maybe that explains why every second presidential term since World War II has always ended worse than their first term. Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, and now Bush Junior have all started their terms with idealism and hope, and have ended – or in Junior’s case NOW ending – covering their asses and having to explain themselves for their earlier decisions.

It sometimes makes me wonder if we either should just get rid of the term limits or just go ahead and limit the job of President to just one five-year term and then that’s it. I’m starting to lean towards the single-term option. At least then the White House wouldn’t obsessed with so-called "legacies" and actually be committed to doing their jobs.


Brutally Honest is a Get Brutal production, all opinions expressed are those of the commentator, and may or may not be shared by the online provider. This is David Matthews 2 saying good night, and I’ll speak with you soon!

(Fade out)

(Computer – Ending/"End of Recording")

[End of program]

Something to think about...

Been listening to some Internet broadcasts and I've come across some commercials promoting the sale of "confirmed leads" for other businesses to use.

So every time I keep on hearing this commercial I cannot help but wonder if these are where the telemarketing people and the spam-senders and the junk fax senders get their information from. These parasites needed to get their information from somewhere.

How many of these "confirmed leads" come from those stupid "you could win a car" contests in the mall? How many are from the store clerk asking you for your phone number? How many are from the banks you have credit card accounts with? How many are from the store "value membership" cards you fill out? How many come from "pretexting"? How many come from spammers and telemarketers?

The point I'm making is this... there is so much information about us out there today, and it's used by companies without our knowledge and without our approval, and they're making big bucks off that knowledge about us. And the reason why these parasites and the companies that employ them are able to sleep at night is because they see harassing us as securing a "sales lead". THAT is why businesses are so willing to work with spammers and telemarketers and why they will fight any attempt to keep their prying eyes off our lives.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

You Lying Sacks of Crap!

Okay boys and girls, I've got a BIG beef with Comedy Central!

For the past few months, these guys have been claiming to run "unedited" movies on their "Secret Stash" show. Now these are done at 1am, well past the 10pm "indecency" restrictions set down by the dictatorial Federalist Christian Censors.

Comedy Central CLAIMS that these movies are all aired UNEDITED, UNCUT, and UNCENSORED. Remember those three words. Remember them well.

Up until now, the only movies that Comedy Central have been running in their "Secret Stash" comprised on Eddie Murphy's movie "Raw", "South Park: The Movie" (for obvious reasons), and the unedited ramblings of every celebrity roast that the channel normally broadcasts and censors the crap out of. Okay, so dropping the F-bomb, S-bomb, and using every bigoted slang and stereotype possible is fine by Comedy Central at 1am.

So now last night, just jumping channels while preparing to go to sleep, I see that Comedy Central is preparing to air "Fast Times At Ridgemont High". Now I thought that THIS would be a good test of the censors and a good test for Comedy Central, so just out of laughs and giggles, I programmed my DVD recorder to tape it.

So the start of the movie start off well. I see the claims about this being "unedited", "uncut", and "uncensored". I see the "this movie contains strong language and adult situations" disclaimer. I see the "TV MA" rating with the "L" (language) and "S" (sex) qualifications underneath it. Then THIS little disclaimer gets thrown in: "this movie has been edited for time restraints and content."


"Unedited", "Uncut", and "Uncensored" MEANS just that! This is a 92-minute movie. When scheduled for a 2-hour timeslot, that leaves you with 28 minutes of commercial time. That's almost 1/4 of the timeslot! That's MORE than enough time to keep the sponsors happy. And even if it goes over, then it frigging GOES OVER! That is what UNCUT means!

Okay, fine. A minor screw-up.

So now I'm scrolling through the scenes. I know that there are THREE instances of R-rated nudity in this movie, including the famous "Pool Fantasy" scene, which was recreated in the Fountains of Wayne video "Stacy's Mom". (Caution: link is NSFW.) I've seen the original movie before, so there's nothing about it that shocks me. In fact it's rather tame in my opinion. (Hey, when you have Playmates as your friends, the excitement bar gets set pretty high.) But it's a good test to see just how far the censors go.

The first test: the feel-up dugout scene. Hacked to pieces. EDITED! CENSORED! I know that Jennifer Jason Leigh doesn't have much to begin with, but come on! FAILED!

The second test: the infamous "Pool Fantasy" with Phoebe Cates. EDITED! CENSORED! We see the lame "Made-For-TV" hack instead! FAILED!

The third test: the pool house sex scene. THIS should have been the big test right here. Ms. Leigh pretty much shows what she has during this "quickie" segment. EDITED! CENSORED! FAILED!


Remember those three words? UNEDITED, UNCUT, and UNCENSORED??? Which part of those three words do the folks at Comedy Central not understand? Seriously, I want to know!

Here's a pop quiz worthy of Mr. Hand: if you promote the airing of a movie as UNEDITED, UNCUT, and UNCENSORED, and then you discover that segments of the movie have been hacked to pieces... what do you call that?

Come on Stoner Spicoli, this should be a simple one for you... you promote something being one thing and then don't deliver on it... what do you call that?

You could have said LYING, dude, that would have worked, but the correct answer is FALSE ADVERTISING! No pizza slice for you.

That is what Comedy Central is guilty of. They are guilty of FALSE ADVERTISING!

What bothers me is that it's not just Comedy Central. There are other cable channels that make similar promises and then hack the crap out of their programming. And then these cable executives wonder why we the viewing public are not watching their channels as frequently!

I'll make it really simple... so simple a redneck from Alabama or a Geiko caveman can understand it. It's 1am. It's way past the "decency time" as mandated by the Federalist Christian Censors. If you can say the F-word, then you can show it. If you can say the word "tits", then you can show them. If you can show cartoon characters flinging crap at each other, then you can show a bare breast or two! If you promise something to be UNCENSORED and UNEDITED and UNCUT, then, dammit, YOU SHOW IT LIKE THAT!

And if you CANNOT do that, then do us all a favor and don't air the program at all! Don't promise something that YOU KNOW you can never deliver!

And as an extra homework assignment, I want you to watch this video clip from my friends over at This is from Carlos Mencia... host of "Mind of Mencia"... which airs on WHICH channel? Yes, Comedy Central.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Brutally Honest Rant - 11/22/06

Brutally Honest Audio Rant: Tale Of Two Builders
Audio Transcripts

[Start Program]

(Computer – Introduction)
(Music intro – "American Idiot Remix" – by Green Day and David Matthews 2)

Good evening, and welcome to this week’s Brutally Honest Rant. I’m David Matthews 2, writer of the weekly online column Brutally Honest.

I have a little story for you this week… one that I’m sure you’ll understand quite well given recent events.

Once upon a time there was a real estate developer who died. This developer had several construction projects up in the air for the local community, and, as it turned out, he had inadvertently given the same project to two very competitive builders. Both builders consider themselves to be the best that there is at what they do. They don’t work with anyone else, and they believe that they should have the EXCLUSIVE rights to carry out the project as originally contracted. They absolutely refuse to work together, because they really hate each other, and they have vowed that if they aren’t allowed to develop the project, that they would tie the whole thing up in the courts for YEARS.

Well the town officials sat down with both builders, and they decided that the only way to settle this dispute is to have a contest between the two of them. They would each be given an identical plot of land , with identical supplies and a GENEROUS amount of funds, and in eleven months they had to build their ideal house and actually live in it. Whoever had the better house would win the project.

Now eleven months is MORE than enough time for a builder to build one house, so the town officials expect these houses to be mind-blowing!

Three months go by and the town officials go to check in with the two builders. They both show off what kind of ideal house they’re trying to build. Hi-tech wonders full of amenities, with plenty of room for living and storage. So then the officials go to the two plots to see how these plans are being implemented.

The first builder, a guy by the name of Gus, has the foundation blocked off and is still pouring concrete. Gus explains that the foundation is the most important part of the whole building, so he wants to make sure that he has a SOLID foundation before he can put anything else up. Meanwhile, the second builder, a guy by the name of Dan, has the basic frame up and is already working on the wiring and the plumbing, but there’s something missing. Something’s not quite right with the building. Gus knows, of course, but he isn’t saying what it is. Dan assures the officials that he should have his house done by the six-month check-in and that he will be moving in right afterwards.

Six months go by since the start of the contest and the town officials go back to check on the two builders. Both builders have spent an extraordinary amount of money on their respective projects, so they’re hoping that it’ll all come out in the results.

They show up at the first plot and Gus is STILL working on the foundation. He is OBSESSED with making sure that everything is JUST RIGHT with the foundation. He’s smoothing the concrete, making sure everything is nice and balanced and secure. He’s also put up some security around the house. A couple of armed guards and a few watchdogs. You see, Gus is afraid that once the house is completed, people may want to break in and rob the place. So he’s got the security force looking after the area. Plus he just doesn’t trust Dan… especially after what happened to Dan’s house.

They go to the second plot and Dan is back to square one… putting up the frame. You see, Dan never bothered to put in a foundation the first time around. He doesn’t feel that the house needs one. The Native Americans never needed one, the early American Colonists never needed one, and so Dan feels that he doesn’t need one either. Well, it turns out not too long after the three-month check-in, there was a nasty rainstorm that came through… and it knocked the whole frame down. So he was back to square one. And then a month later, it happened again… and then just a few weeks previous to this visit, it happened again. So he’s back to square one… for the fourth time.

Nine months go by… they’re almost at the November deadline. The town officials go back to check on the builders. Again, they noticed an extraordinary amount of money being spent on these projects and they want to see some results. This time around, a lot of time is spent talking with the builders separately about their spending instead of actually going out to the site.

Gus explains how recent concerns about security have forced him to make some changes to his overall plan. But they’re minor changes, he said… the town officials supposedly wouldn’t notice a thing! And he was pleased to announce that he IS finished with the foundation… it is rock-solid… and he’s already started on the framework, and that the rest of the building would be up in no time! And the additional costs? Well that’s for the additional security for the property and the new security systems that he’s ordered. These are all state-of-the-art systems, and they’re not cheap… but, then again, security isn’t cheap.

Dan explained that he’s also had to make some minor changes to his overall plan, due to the fact that all of his previous attempts were knocked down by storms. But he assures the town officials that he’s come up with a new method of security the building that doesn’t use traditional foundation methods, and he claims that the current frame has already weathered one windstorm, so he should also be ready and living in the new house by the November deadline.

And the additional costs? Well in addition to having to start back at square one… numerous times… he’s also done some research into better construction methods. He had to hire some researchers and advisors. That’s how he came across the new foundation-free method he’s using. Plus… well, he figured that he’s going to win this contest anyway, so he set aside some money for a little celebration. The town officials were a little miffed at the idea, until it was brought up that they were guilty of doing that as well.

So here it is… November… time to find out who built the better home.

The town officials show up at the first plot. The original design called for a two-story colonial-style house with full amenities. The house the Gus built, though, was a one-story enclosure comprised of clear Plexiglas surrounded by a cast-iron framework. There are no rooms inside this house, and no amount of privacy whatsoever other a small area next to the shower for the sake of "modesty". And every corner of the house, as well as the surrounding yard, are bathed in glaring white lights.

Gus has been living in this house for over a week, although not too comfortably. Most of the amenities are jury-rigged because they are designed for walls that were never built. The high-tech security systems are also jury-rigged into place, although they are about as useful as the fifteen elderly armed guards and five burned-out watchdogs patrolling the area.

But Gus points out that the house is ROCK SOLID thanks to its superior foundation. The cast-iron framework will never bend or warp and the Plexiglas walls will never shatter. Well… unless there’s hail. The town officials note, though, that the foundation does have some serious ugly cracks as it settled, even though Gus claims that there’s nothing wrong with it at all.

The town officials go over to the other plot to see what kind of "ideal home" Dan has built. Dan originally came up with plans for a one-story ranch house. While the house they saw was one-story, they could hardly call it "ranch-style". It was more like "funhouse-style". Nothing was straight. Oh the "non-foundation" kept the frame from being knocked down from storms, but there were also very visible areas where the floors and walls were warped. The amenities were there, and they did work, although some of them had to be jury-rigged because of the structural distortions. Some of the pipes leaked and there were a few exposed outlets. BUT Dan said that IT IS livable, and he had been actually living there for all of two days. The real question would be if anyone else would want to live there.

So there you have it, folks… two houses that were FAR LESS than the "ideal homes" that they were sold to be. Made by people who CLAIMED to be the best at what they do, and who believe that THEY should be the EXCLUSIVE builders of the project.

So now let’s suppose that you’re one of the town officials being asked to make a choice. What kind of house would you want to live in? Which builder would you rather give the project to? I’m sure that most of you would be thinking "none of the above" but you really don’t have that option in this case. If you choose to go with a third option, then BOTH of the builders will be taking you to court… and it would really be the only thing that the two of them would be willing to do together.

Now… let’s get brutally honest here… this story is obviously a metaphor for today’s zero-sum political thinking. Gus represents the GOP, and Dan represents the Democrats. They both make lofty promises, but in principle they come up short. Not to mention the fact that they gobble up an incredible amount of money and then try to excuse it afterwards. The question that we continually have to ask every November is which one we would rather work with. Whose house would YOU rather live in?

And you’re probably wondering… if these two builders were "the best that there is", then WHY would they do such a crappy job at these dream houses? Why deviate so badly off their original designs? Well the answer to that is simple: if you only have two choices, and you’re one of those two choices, then you don’t have to give it your best… you only have to be just slightly better than the alternative. That, too, is the message that we’re constantly getting from our current political parties.

(Computer – some stuff… but you’ll have to hear the rant to know what they are)
(Fade Music In – "Who Am I" by Peace Orchestra)

And now I have a challenge to you. I want you to go to my weblog site… the address is d2brutallyhonest-dot-blogspot-dot-com… and look for the transcripts to tonight’s show. It’ll be clearly marked "Brutally Honest Rant – 11/22/06". Go over those two options in the story I just gave you, and in the comment section let me know which one of the two houses that YOU would rather live in. There’s no login needed. You can post your choices anonymously if you so wish.

I’d really like to know what everyone thinks about the story, and of course, which kind of house that you would rather live in. Remember, you only have those two choices, so be sure to choose wisely. And to borrow from a certain recently laid-off government official… you make your choices with the options you HAVE, not the options that YOU WISH you had.


Brutally Honest is a Get Brutal production, all opinions expressed are those of the commentator, and may or may not be shared by the online provider. This is David Matthews 2 saying good night, and I’ll speak with you soon!

(Fade out)
(Computer – Ending/"End of Recording")

[End of program]

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Have you noticed...?

The elections are over with... and has anyone caught on to the fact that the price of gasoline is starting to creep back up?

It's not supposed to do that, is it? I mean, that might give credence to those who accuse "big oil" of keeping the prices low to benefit the Bush Imperium and the GOP!

Oh, sure, there are some excuses being floated about... unrest in Nigeria again, OPEC is cutting production, holiday season is just about here... but isn't it strange that the troubles just MAGICALLY disappeared for a month as price slid down, and then suddenly just reappeared?

Yeah, it could just be a coincidence. Right. Just like I could have a shot with a Playboy Playmate in the grotto of the Playboy Mansion.

(And now of course my real-life Playmate friends will be emailing me with "oh David don't sell yourself short like that!")

Friday, November 17, 2006

When did "no" become "yes"?

Was taking a brief glance through the matter of Jack Murtha in the past few days. This is a decorated veteran who put his name and his reputation on the line by standing up to the Bush Imperium. He tried to run for House Majority Leader (otherwise known on Fox News as the House Democratic Leader) and even had the endorsement of Speaker-Elect Nancy Pelosi (who can still scare small children).

But then certain factions started cranking out some old news about Murtha. You can guess which factions right? GOP factions... conservative factions... "Swift Boat" factions... and they bring up the fact that Murtha escaped the ABSCAM trap of twenty years ago.

ABSCAM was this sting operation run by the FBI. A federal agent poses as an Arab sheik and offers lavish amounts of money for some favors. The whole thing is videotaped, so the participants can't try to lie about the whole thing. It was a pretty good operation... nailed quite a few members of Congress. And this was BEFORE they could blame everything on alcohol and run off to rehab like today's bunch of corrupt grifters and shysters.

So Murtha is seen in the ABSCAM videos being offered the bribe. Does he take the money? Nope! Does he agree to the offer? Nope! He says that he cannot do it... at this time. That's still supposedly enough to get a little investigation, but he's still cleared.

But NOW the same "Swift Boat" factions are claiming that Murtha REALLY is guilty of the whole thing because he said "not at this time"!

Folks, when I'm at the local store and the clerk is looking to sign me up for some privacy-killing "bonus program" or some "free magazine subscription", I don't jump down their throats saying "HELL NO! I WON'T TAKE PART IN YOUR SCAMS!" Guess what I tell them? I tell them "not at this time."

It's called being POLITE! Sure I'm brutally honest, but that doesn't mean I'm that way 24/7 for everything I do! I don't try to burn bridges if I don't have to, especially with people that I have to continue to work with.

I know, I know, politeness is not exactly a conservative and neo-conservative thing, especially in recent years. That's a big part of the reason why they come across as smug and arrogant. But that doesn't mean that the rest of the thinking humans have to abandon politeness either.

And by the way, Swifties, since WHEN did "no" become code for "yes"? Remember that old adage of "no means NO"? Well "not at this time" still means NO! Have you guys been busy hiding corrupt criminals and predators for so long that you forget that little tidbit?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Brutally Honest Rant - 11/15/06

Brutally Honest Audio Rant: Sartre Was Wrong
Audio Transcripts

[Start Program]

(Computer – Introduction)
(Music intro – "American Idiot Remix" – by Green Day and David Matthews 2)

Good evening, and welcome to this week’s Brutally Honest Rant. I’m David Matthews 2, writer of the weekly online column Brutally Honest.

I guess it’s a good thing that the elections are now over with. No more barrages of lies, hysteria, and outright phoniness for another two years. The signs and the negative attack ads have been put away. The people have chosen, either through their vote or through their non-vote, and now the people have to live with their respective decisions until the next election.

With no real issue to dive into right at the moment, I thought I’d get something off my chest for a nice quick rant this week.

I’ll be turning 40 this coming Tuesday. I don’t normally advertise my birthdays, much less talk about milestone birthdays like turning 40. I hate the fact that I’ll be turning another decade older.

It’s one thing to do so with a solid and healthy past to look back on. To reach that milestone and look at yourself and the things that you’ve done and say that you’ve done good so far.

I can’t say those things. I’m turning 40 with regret, not with hope. I’m looking back at the things that I haven’t been able to do… things that I’ve wanted to do… and things that I no longer can do…

And of those almost 40 years, I can say with certainty that Jean-Paul Sartre was WRONG! Hell really isn’t other people!

For those of you who do not know what I’m talking about, the French existentialist playwright Jean-Paul Sartre once penned a classic play called "Closed Door", although you may have heard of it as "No Exit". It’s a play consisting of three main characters and one valet whose only role is to bring the trio into the room one at a time. The three are brought together to be tortured for the crimes that they committed, not knowing until the very end that their respective torturers were in the room the whole time… the real torturers were each other and their own sordid pasts. This leads, of course, to the infamous quote that sums up the entire play: "hell is other people".

But the truth is that hell is only other people when you can’t stand to be with them. When the sins of your own past are laid out bare, stripped of any pretenses and excuses and easily accessible for others to use for their own purposes, it is easy to say that hell is other people because they are using your own weaknesses against you. In truth, though, it is not others that make it hell… but rather hell is of our own creation.

There is a far worse hell than just other people; a fate much more dreaded than anything that other people could invent. That fate is isolation.

Imagine, if you will, the plight of a very visible ghost… one that is seen but not acknowledged. One that can affect the things around them but does not seem to affect others. One that doesn’t scare people, but is instead ignored.

Welcome to my so-called life.

Humans are, by nature, a social creature. Biology requires us to have more than one person in order to keep the species going, and obviously that other person has to be of a different gender. Even if you hate that other-gendered person, you know that if you’re trapped for all eternity in the same area with that person, at some point biology will kick in. The three participants in "No Exit" certainly have plenty of opportunity to demonstrate that much and, at least in their words, they do.

But there are other stories that demonstrate that a far worse fate would be to have those participants sitting in three separate rooms all by themselves, with nobody to talk to but themselves.

We’d like to think that we could find some way of surviving isolation. In the classic Twilight Zone episode "Time Enough At Last", a henpecked bank official is not allowed to escape his dreary existence through books. But then he sneaks a few minutes in the bank vault to read, and after he wakes up from an impromptu nap, he realizes that the world has been blown up. Everyone he ever knew was gone. But he finds the library is still intact… a place full of books. He thinks that he can escape his isolation through reading… which is what he loves to do anyway… only to break his glasses.

In the movie "Cast Away", Tom Hank’s character is surrounded by nothing but other people, and he doesn’t seem to have any time for the things that matter, until he ends up on a plane that goes down in the Pacific. He survives, but eventually that isn’t enough. When he does get back, his life is pretty much over. Everyone that he knew moved on without him. He pretty much has to start things all over again… and by himself, which is what he is now accustomed to anyway.

Isolation is not a pretty sight. Isolation pretty much sucks. That’s why it makes for good punishment. That’s why shunning still works today. Oh you can try to escape it. You can come up with ways to get around it. But it doesn’t work. You’re still reminded that there is a gap between you and the rest of the world. And no matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to bridge that gap by yourself.

Did you know that the original architects for today’s correctional facilities had a totally different idea of how to rehabilitate criminals? These were Quakers, very religious people, and they believed that complete isolation with nothing but a bible would reform a criminal. I don’t know about the reform part, but complete isolation is certainly a worse punishment than the current warehousing process.

I can go on and on about this, but you pretty much get the picture.

Now I want you to think about the number of people who are shy, quiet, introverted… keep to themselves… don’t really do too much. Don’t really care too much about them, do you? Why should you? They’re not a part of your life.

We hear about the people who just snap… go crazy… do something completely horrific… and when the police and the media interview the neighbors or coworkers, how are they described? Oh, they’re shy… quiet… keep to themselves…

Are you noticing a pattern here?

Let’s get brutally honest here… isolation is a learned behavior. If you isolate a person long enough, they may become used to it, but that doesn’t mean that they like it. They’ll do things by themselves out of habit, but that doesn’t mean that they WANT to. And being surrounded by people who are able to enjoy life is as torturous for the isolated person as an anorexic surrounded by obese people at an all-you-can-eat buffet.

And you cannot tell them to simply go rejoin the rest of the human race! That’s like telling that anorexic person to simply start eating and everything will be fine. Well the same thing with people who are shy, quiet, and keep to themselves out of habit. They need to be brought in… welcomed in… to get used to the fact that they don’t need to be isolated. And it’s not going to happen overnight either! You can’t just bring a lonely person to a party and expect it to wipe away decades of isolation. And yes, in my case IT IS measured in the decades.

I look back at my almost-40 years, and while the reasons why I have more regrets than achievements are numerous, there is but one common theme in them all: marginalization. Feeling left out. Feeling like I don’t belong there or anywhere. It’s not something that you can get over quickly, easily, or all by yourself in cold turkey fashion.

Being isolated is a learned process. It comes from years and years of being isolated. Bringing that person back into the mix requires pretty much the same amount of time and effort. But if you look at the alternative… it’s a pretty good endeavor.

(Computer – some appropriate audio clips for this kind of rant)
(Fade Music In – "Mythodea" by Vangelis)

In a way, it’s good that I bring this subject up right now. We’re just a few weeks away from the official start of the holiday season. A time for families and friends. A time for togetherness. And for someone like me, it’s nothing more than a constant reminder of that gap between myself and the rest of the world.

So my word of advice as I approach my 40th is this: if during your travels this holiday season you know someone who seems to spend more time apart from others, don’t be afraid to engage in a little conversation with them. Don’t be afraid to ask a lonely coworker to join your little lunch group, or drop off a little holiday note to your next-door neighbor. You don’t have to marry them or adopt them or live with them or even invite them to dinner, but just let them know that they aren’t invisible to you.

Trust me… even something that little can go a long ways.

(Quick pause)

Oh by the way, folks, for those of you on the transcript list or who are reading these out on the Brutally Honest weblog, if there’s something about tonight’s rant that touches a nerve or sounds like someone you know, please feel free to pass it on to your friends. And be sure to let me know as well.


Brutally Honest is a Get Brutal production, all opinions expressed are those of the commentator, and may or may not be shared by the online provider. This is David Matthews 2 saying good night, and I’ll speak with you soon!

(Fade out)
(Computer – Ending/"End of Recording")

[End of program]

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Quick update on Election: Virginia blues

Looks like the party of the braying jackass now has the US Senate as well as the House.

George Allen, the Senator from "Macaca" with the goon squad assault team, lost his job by the narrowest of margins. The "unofficial" count (because it won’t be "certified" for two more weeks) has Allen losing by less than 8000 votes. That gives the Senate seat to Democrat Jim Webb, and it gives the Democrats a 51-49 majority in the US Senate.

The blue state won back the Congress.

Oh, btw, here’s the video if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

Here’s Allen making the "Macaca" statement. He claims he didn’t even know what the word was, that he just made it up. Turns out, though, he knew quite well what it meant, and it was "made-up" LONG before he was even born.

And here’s the goon squad in action. The victim of the attack was a blogger whose only action was to approach the Senator with a simple question.

My take on the matter is this… the goon squad assault was a criminal act. That goon thug needs to go to jail. For that reason alone I was hoping that Allen would lose the election. He DESERVED to lose that election if he has goons on his payroll.

This is not Iraq! This is not pre-9/11 Taliban-run Afghanistan! This is AMERICA! That constituent had every right to approach his elected representative and ask that person a question, and ANY politician that doesn’t get that NEEDS to be removed from office! PERIOD!

Meanwhile, of course, this was pretty much the icing on the cake for Democrats. Not only do they get their hold of Congress back, but they do it in spite all of the nastiness and vindictive attitudes being thrown about by conservatives.

Yes, he finally kicked it...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Brutally Honest Rant - 11/08/06

Brutally Honest Audio Rant: The Big Post-Election Rant
Audio Transcripts

[Start Program]

(Computer – Introduction)
(Music intro – "American Idiot Remix" – by Green Day and David Matthews 2)

Good evening, and welcome to this week’s Brutally Honest Rant. I’m David Matthews 2, writer of the weekly online column Brutally Honest.

Well my friends, as of this rant, it is the day AFTER Election Day, and I’ve got a few things to talk about here.

First of all, YES I DID VOTE! I took time out from my bill-paying job, hauled my ass over to the polling place, went through all of the bells and whistles, and I VOTED! I did exactly what I said I would do, I voted with my heart and my conscience, and since I don’t like the way things are right now I voted AGAINST the incumbent in EVERY race, even the ones that were uncontested. (And yes, that means a LOT of write-ins!)

But I DID my bit! Unlike members of Congress, I did not tell people one thing and then did the opposite. I voted and I got my little "I voted" peach sticker to prove it.

But that doesn’t mean that I’m not concerned somewhat about voter fraud. I DO have some concerns about the integrity of the voting machines. Now normally I’d dismiss such talk, but the one thing that bothers me is an alleged statement made by an executive of Diebold, the company that manufactures half of the electronic voting machines in America. In 2004, this executive ALLEGEDLY promised to help deliver the state of Ohio to the Republican Party.

Now I’d love to dismiss that statement as simply the PERSONAL expression of a Republican supporter during a very caustic political season. I really would like to dismiss it as that. Seriously. Except for two things… first, it was OHIO that became the most contested and closest state in the whole damned election, and second, this WAS a senior executive for the company that MAKES the electronic voting machines used in that election!

In order for you to understand how this could fire off some red flags here, I want you to go back to earlier this year to the 2006 Super Bowl in Detroit between the Seattle Seahawks and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Let’s suppose that the Mayor of Detroit, Kwame Kilpatrick, went in front of a Steelers rally the night before the big game and openly PROMISED that Pittsburgh would win the Super Bowl. Since Detroit is supposed to be a neutral area as the host of the big game, one would have to suspect if Pittsburg’s victory had ANYTHING to do with their achievement, or did a little backstage manipulation give them an edge? Even if nothing can be proven, the mere implication of bias is enough to taint the victory.

Now let’s go back to Ohio in 2004. Here you have an executive of the company that MAKES these electronic voting machines making a clearly partisan promise… not a guess or a prediction but an ASSURANCE that OHIO will carry the Bush Imperium victory. Even if it isn’t true, even if there is NO evidence of manipulation, the mere implication of bias is enough to bring that state’s close results into doubt.

Of course you didn’t hear about any kind of investigation into that, did you? Nope. And you probably won’t. Because there’s nothing that can be done, even IF some kind of proof could ever be provided, which I seriously doubt would ever exist.

Look, whether you like them or not, electronic voting machines ARE the future of elections. After what happened with Florida in 2000, the whole election system was BOUND for change. And it’s not easy putting in a new method of voting, especially one that doesn’t leave a paper trail. Hey, I work with computers for a living, I KNOW that paperless isn’t always 100% efficient.

So it doesn’t help the integrity of that new method to have any kind of statement come into play like the one allegedly made by the Diebold executive. If you’re making the machines that host the election, then your company’s name and image should be as non-partisan as can possibly be.

Of course the TIMING of some of these stories about how accurate these voting machines are is also suspect.

HBO ran their special documentary on the subject pretty damned close to the election, and the rationality for THAT is questionable. If your mission is to alert the public about this kind of problem, then you don’t do it right before the elections when nothing can be done to change the process. You do this sort of stuff six months or even a year before the elections, giving the masses enough time to demand and carry out the needed changes in the state and local governments so they can be ready on Election Day. Alerting the masses RIGHT before an election that the machines they’re voting on may or may not be safe and secure doesn’t "inform" them, it actually DETERS them from voting! You’re not helping people… you’re actually INTIMIDATING them from fulfilling their individual responsibilities as citizens of the United States of America.

But then again, that is just a part of a much larger problem, which was made even clear in the past few days.

We have a political system that is obsessed with winning at ANY AND ALL costs! The two dominant parties no longer ask if a certain tactic is right; they ask if they can get away with it!

And that’s something that really needs to be put to an end RIGHT NOW! We have out-and-out cases of physical ASSAULTS caught on camera from Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney’s primary loss in Georgia to Senator George Allan’s GOP goon squad attacking a blogger for simply for asking a question. We have outright cases of voter intimidation on tape. And ALL of it… every single incident… will no doubt be easily excused and whitewashed by the government as simply part of the caustic campaign season. The assault caught on tape committed by Congresswoman McKinney’s staff was already excused by local police, and no doubt the GOP goon in Virginia will also get away with his criminal actions.

Anyone remember when the phrase "boys will be boys" was used to excuse some of the most vile criminal acts? It’s still used, but that doesn’t mean that it’s still an acceptable excuse. Well we need to apply the same thing here with the actions of ALL participants in the political campaigns. Democrat, Republican, it doesn’t matter. The dirty tricks and outright criminal activities need to come to an end. And the only way they will is when we start seeing campaign officials being led away in handcuffs. We need to see some perp walks. We need to see goon squad members hauled away by the police.

These are campaigns that are supposed to represent the honesty and integrity of their so-called "champions". Well those standards need to apply to their campaigns as well, and it is high time that they be BOUND to them.

(Quick pause)

And that of course brings us to the big news… the really, really big news for America. This Election Day was also JUDGEMENT DAY, not only for the GOP and their 12 years in control of Congress, but also to some extent for the Bush Imperium.

The White House spin doctors were pretty much planning on using the mid-term elections as their way of anointing their Machiavellian strategist Karl Rove as a GOP kingmaker, someone that can be trusted to carry the GOP on to further victory in the 2008 presidential elections and beyond. Rove himself even INSISTED that the GOP would continue their 2004 victory. The other week he told National Public Radio in an on-air phone call that he was looking at poll after poll after poll that said that the GOP would survive the election unscathed. He even went so far as to accuse NPR of looking at the WRONG polls.

Well guess what Karl? YOU were the one that was WRONG! And so were the Republicans!

The full numbers of course won’t be out yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if this election produced the highest voter turnout for a non-presidential election in recent history. And that says something about how pissed off voters are, because that’s really the only thing that would bring them out to the ballot box, especially here in my home state of Georgia where it RAINED most of the day.

The end result is this: 12 years of GOP rule in the House of Representatives came to an end last night. The Democrats not only gained enough seats to take over control of the House, but they threw in several more for good measure. As of tonight, the GOP still retains control of the Senate, but that’s only by the slimmest of margins – with the obligatory recounts pending. That means that Vice President Dick Cheney may actually have to come out of his bunker more often to carry out his constitutional role as President of the Senate. The Democrats even took the majority of governors races, which really doesn’t give them any additional power, but it just shows how successful they were in putting an end to the "Republican Revolution".

New Hampshire voters voted for a DEMOCRAT to run their state. Massachusetts not only voted in a Democrat, but also their first black governor. US Senator Rick Santorum, the uber-conservative moralist, got kicked out of office. Kathryn Harris, who was told not to run for a Senate seat but did anyway by playing up to the religious extremists, lost badly.

And now of course the sour grapes will be coming out. The sour grapes will come out from the conservative talk show hosts. They’ll come out from the columnists and the radio callers and the ordinary people who have been conditioned like Pavlovian dogs to think in zero-sum terms. They will cry and wail and moan that America has somehow "lost the war" against the bad guys. They will wail and cry and moan that we gave up our security and our prosperity. And some of them will no doubt go so far as to claim that we even gave up GOD in this election.

Well the truth of the matter is that WE’VE BEEN LOSING the war against the bad guys. We’ve BEEN losing it because we lost focus of who and what the enemy is! The terrorists have continued to play this as being a battle of Christianity and Judaism versus Islam. And what have the Republicans been doing? Caving in on that argument. They’ve catered to our own religious extremists who ALSO subscribe to this idea that this is a war between Christians (and grudgingly the Jews) against Muslims.

Conservatives claim that we don’t know that we are in a war… I challenge them to specifically identify who we are at war against! I KNOW who and what the enemy is. I was doing college term papers on this very subject back when Rush Limbaugh was still trying to keep his marriage and his day job as a music disc jockey and back when most of today’s conservative attack dogs were doing Jell-O shots off of coeds and masturbating to pictures of Ronald Reagan.

You don’t "preserve" freedom by depriving it from Americans and calling it a "needed tool". You don’t "promote" freedom by simply advocating that democracy by itself will solve all of their problems. And you certainly don’t "defend" our own freedom-based framework by subverting it with signing statements and questioning the patriotism of judges who rule against you as part of their jobs.

As for prosperity? Well guess what? It really wasn’t as great as the White House has been spinning it. In the next two years, the bulk of the corporate layoffs announced over the past three years will start to come to fruition. The tax cuts that the Imperium have been touting will soon start to expire. The GOP-controlled Congress never did make them permanent. And it doesn’t matter which party is in charge of things, the economy is destined to sink around 2008 unless something DRASTIC is done to fundamentally change the economy for the better. It’s not a matter of "if"… it’s a matter of "how bad". The GOP has had two years of unquestionable control in Washington to change that forecast and it instead spent more time dealing with gay marriage and flag burning and coming up with new ways to keep us addicted to foreign oil and thus beholden to foreign nations.

Let’s get brutally honest here… the only reason why the Democrats won and won big in this election is because the Republican Party and the Bush Junior White House GAVE IT TO THEM!

The Democrats didn’t win because they had a better plan or gave any indication that they were the better alternative. They were JUST "the alternative", and not even a good one. They won because they weren’t Republicans.

The GOP pretty much pissed away any kind of confidence the American people had of them. They had unquestionable power to do whatever they wanted to do, and instead of less government and less government spending, we got more of BOTH. Instead of government officials with morals and integrity, we got hypocritical government moralists subverting the rule of law and imposing the rule of the Republicans. Mark Foley, Bob Ney, Tom DeLay, and Randy "Duke" Cunningham were mistakes that should have been quietly purged the moment the GOP hierarchy heard of trouble. Instead, they helped to drag the GOP into the toilet.

Let’s not forget the Bush Imperium. These guys played the FEAR card more times than George Romero! Cripes, I even thought I saw a zombie show up on camera at the White House… until I realized it was just Karl Rove pulling an all-nighter with his "infallible" polls. (Rimshot) Hey, here’s a quick lesson for the Imperium… when you have nothing to campaign on but fear itself, you sorta kinda start to act like the very bad guys that we’re going to war against. I mean, if you want to continue to play that card, then do us all a favor and grow a super-thick moustache so we can start calling you "Saddam".

And hey, I’m an equal-opportunity basher here… if the Democrats had failed to win control of either house of Congress, then I’d be telling John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Howard Dean to pack it up and get the hell out of Washington. But, of course, they won, so they get to bask in the glory of their victory for the next two years… except for maybe John Kerry. He probably should keep his mouth shut and keep his Clinton-coifed Worchester head out of the limelight for a while. Take a lesson from the GOP and let the people at the top of the hierarchy make their own mistakes.

Meanwhile, of course, the White House will have some serious rethinking to do as they chow down on their mandatory blue-plate special of crow. Some folks who thought their jobs were secure could seriously find themselves being the next Michael Brown. Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defense and Zen master of Pentagon poppycock, has already been given the boot, and it was believed that he was a permanent fixture of the Imperium’s inner circle. The Bush Imperium had to bet the farm in order to keep their power in Washington, and now they’ve lost. Now they have some serious explaining to do as they wrap up the last quarter of their two terms in office and I have a feeling that the American people are not going to like what some of those explanations will be.

(Computer – yeah, you know I’ll have some political mixes for you!)
(Fade Music In – "Mythodea" by Vangelis)

Listen, folks, I’m a Libertarian, so I don’t have any grand delusions about what the next two years will bring with a mixed party running things in Washington. I’m not going to believe that people there will suddenly remember what freedom is or take even the vaguest measures of responsibility for their actions. The only thing that this election did was to slow down the expansion of government to a modest creep. And the word "creep" is aptly put given some of the dirty players in this political game.

I remember quite well the empty words of a certain narcissist when he described the last power-change in the House as being the end of the era of big government. Of course, as we all know, big government never did go away. It just gave itself a new moniker. Instead of "big brother", we started calling it the "nanny state", or, as I called it, "Big Babysitter". Now we just call it "9/11". If we want smaller government, then we have to vote for the people that will actually PROVIDE it instead of just wasting our time TALKING about it. We didn’t do that this time around. Maybe the next time we will.

This election is the GOP’s much-needed time out so they can clean up their act. They have pissed away our trust and our confidence, and now they have to atone for it and rebuild themselves so they can actually BE better the next time around. And if they want to PROVE that they really are better than the Democrats, then they would do well to follow my advice and take their defeat with honor and grace. Step down, step aside, and remember who it was that originally put you IN office and who it was that just took you OUT of office. They’re called your constituents. It’s about time that you reacquainted yourselves with them.


Brutally Honest is a Get Brutal production, all opinions expressed are those of the commentator, and may or may not be shared by the online provider. This is David Matthews 2 saying good night, and I’ll speak with you soon!

(Fade out)
(Computer – Ending/"End of Recording")

[End of program]

Britney’s back in the dating game?

So Britney Spears, the perpetual blonde pop-tease, has thrown yet another curve ball by announcing her separation and pending divorce from her so-called "perfect man"…. K-Fed… K-Frog… K-Rap… P-Kevvy… whatever he calls himself nowadays.

I suppose the timing’s good for this news. The "family values" hucksters are busy licking their wounds after getting kicked in the nuts in yesterday’s election. And her soon-to-be-ex is trying to reinvent himself as a professional wrestler since nobody’s buying his music or showing up at his performances.

Here’s a little piece of advice for K-rud: entertainers who go into professional wrestling don’t become better entertainers because of it. Ask the rappers who wrestled on WCW if their exposure got them any extra credibility. You know David Arquette even became a wrestling champion for all of a couple of weeks. It didn’t make him a mega-star. All it did was to serve as a cheesy promo for his movie about fans of professional wrestling.

Of course I’d be more excited about Britney’s decision to leave her so-called "perfect man" if she didn’t pop out two tax exemptions before this moment of clarity. As it is right now, until she can remember what it was that gave her that celebrity status, she’s still just a media oddity.

Breaking News: Rummy, you're FIRED!

This just in folks… Bush Junior is eating crow, and Donald Rumsfeld is going away!

Okay I’m obviously going to be talking about the election aftermath in the rant tonight, so stay tuned. This will be a big one!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

It's Election Day!

Well... it's time. All of those BS ads come to an end (for now) and the time has come for us to do our bit and VOTE!

I know where my polling place is, I know how I'll be voting (I gave you guys enough hints in last week's audio rant), and I know when I'll be voting.

Remember, if you don't vote, you lose any justification to complain about how things are in government. So get your sorry asses out there and fulfill your responsibility.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post-election rant.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Saddam Hussein: GUILTY!

The verdict is in… Saddam Hussein is GUILTY of crimes against humanity and has been sentenced to DIE by hangman’s noose.

I’m really not surprised by the verdict. I am surprised by the death sentence, but not of the verdict itself. This is a guy who gassed his own people… which, by the way, he still has to face trial for. This was a long trial full of changes in judges and attorneys. I’m glad that they completed it, though, which is something that was NOT done with the Serb bastard Slobodan Milosevic because the prick DIED before his year-plus-long trial could end. I half-expected Saddam to die before the verdict was issued as well.

From this point on, though, the rest of the trials against him are pretty much formalities. He’s sentenced to die, and you can only execute him once. The Iraqi courts can only add to the convictions that he is to die for, which they should go ahead and do. Saddam NEEDS to know the full extent of the horrors that he committed in his life and to face justice on them.

The name of the game at this point is to get him to the gallows so he can face justice. Saddam still expects to be released and still expects to regain power of Iraq. As long as he lives, he is considered a bargaining chip for both terrorists and his Sunni supporters. They can try to negate his death sentence, or require that his method of execution be changed, or they could outright try to terrorize the country, the region, or the world with even more horrors unless he is given his release.

We’re coming close to the anniversary of his capture. I said it then and I still believe that it was a mistake to let him live this long. The people of Iraq had to put up with his tantrums and his games while awaiting trial. Now they have to endure things long enough to get him to the hangman’s noose so he can face a punishment that will be way too easy for him for the monstrosities done in his name.

Oh, btw, read your history… Italy’s thug dictator Mussolini was hanged as well. Not only that, but his carcass was then put on display for all of Italy to spit on.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Armey puts moralists in their place... sort of

Why is it that the only really GOOD politicians are only that way AFTER they leave office?

Seriously! Bob Barr was a moralistic politican when he was in office in the 1990's as part of the "Republican Revolution". Then after he leaves office he not only remembers things like personal liberty and freedom, but he actually joins the "dreaded" ACLU!

Well I guess we now can include former House Majority Leader Dick Armey in that same category.

Armey was one of the key leaders of the "Republican Revolution" until he got more or less bossed out by the corrupt SOB Tom DeLay. Now he runs his own little special interest group pushing for things like individual freedom and less government.

Well it seems Armey wasn't happy with the dictatorial tones of the bible-thumping freedom-hating moralists that are throwing thier weight around in the GOP. Specifically, he targeted God Squad leader James Dobson of the wrongly-named "Focus on the Family" and said that he and his fellow freedom-haters are the reason why the GOP are losing ground in America.

True to his dysfunction, Dobson thought he would take Armey to the woodshed with a scathing rebuttal posted on the Fox News website. But it was Armey's rebuttal that really took Dobson and his ilk to task for their sins.

Here's a snippet...

The very real tragedy of the past 60 years is the ongoing expansion and intrusion of the federal government into the traditionally private sphere of American life. Activist judges are clearly responsible for much of the damage, but just as corrosive is the expansion of the federal bureaucracy into education, welfare, and health care and retirement. The result is that private, social decisions once left to individuals and communities are now under the control of Washington powerbrokers. Our cultural debate has become politicized.

In fact, the specific demands constantly made by Dobson and his gang in the name of “values voters” feel a lot like the group identity politics employed by the left wing that every conservative should abhor. The politicization of the culture war cheapens the political participation of millions of Christians by turning us into just another “special interest” group to be appeased by meaningless symbolism.

Meanwhile, the growth of government spending and regulation continues unchecked.

What Armey doesn't realize is that the so-called "culture war" is just a fraud. It's a Trojan Horse scheme designed to cover up the real purpose, which is to seize power and control of society and transform it into a theocracy.

Armey also doesn't realize that so-called "activist judges" aren't destroying either society or the government... they're trying to stop the abuses of an over-reaching government, egged on by special interest groups from both liberal AND conservative sources. And yes, that includes the special interest groups run by people like James Dobson.

You want to get rid of "activist judges"? Then stop seizing power! Stop using government to solve every minor misstep. Stop using government as your personal mob enforcer. Stop using government in your dysfunctional attempts to "save families" and "save children" and "save" institutions that don't need saving! Stop giving these judges a reason to do their jobs!

Armey thinks that the only way the GOP can survive is by keeping the "big tent" around. But he doesn't realize that people like Dobson ALSO want that "big tent" around... but only as long as it is a big REVIVAL tent.

It's a pity that Armey doesn't get it completely, but at least he's starting to. Pity it didn't happen while he was in office.

You know this is next...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Brutally Honest Rant - 11/01/06

Brutally Honest Audio Rant: Pre-Election Thoughts
Audio Transcripts

[Start Program]

(Computer – Introduction)
(Music intro – "American Idiot Remix" – by Green Day and David Matthews 2)

Good evening, and welcome to this week’s Brutally Honest Rant. I’m David Matthews 2, writer of the weekly online column Brutally Honest.

Well my friends as of tonight, we are just a couple of days away from the November mid-term elections, and I’ve got a couple of bones to pick with both conservative and liberal groups.

BUT FIRST… let me start with a very important message. Listen very carefully now. X equals 1.

Do you get it? X equals 1. Let me repeat that for you. X equals 1.

Now it’s important that you know that X equals 1. It’s important because where I’m going with this will either confirm your political suspicions or kick them squarely in the nuts. But right now, the important thing for you to remember is that X equals 1.

Okay, the first bone to pick is with the Old Fart’s Club… the AARP. You see, two years ago a certain musician decided to have a special campaign slogan called "Vote or Die". He tried to motivate the young generation into voting in the 2004 presidential elections by giving them a rather absurd idea that if they don’t vote, then they would die. It was a stupid idea but MTV ran with it anyway. Unfortunately it didn’t really motivate the Generation Y crowd, although they would have had a better chance of getting interest if MTV didn’t fill their schedules with mindless programming that borderlines on reality that nobody ever watches.

Well the Old Fart’s Club came out with a different take. Instead of getting people to vote, they’re telling people to NOT VOTE!

I’m serious! That’s their whole campaign! "Don’t Vote!" They even have a commercial featuring a Stepford Pod Person who croons about how he’s such a GREAT guy and a loving husband and the PERFECT candidate for the unnamed political office, but just don’t ask him about Social Security.

Of course the rest of that message goes as follows: "don’t vote until you know where the candidates stand on certain issues." And by "certain issues", of course, they mean Social Security and other elderly programs.

Well I’ve got problems with that general idea. First of all, one of the old political tactics is to have a bus pull up at some retirement community, load it up with seniors, maybe offer them some coffee for the trip, and then on the way to the polling place remind them which party or which candidate was responsible for this little favor. You don’t need to be a mind reader to know how those free passengers are going to vote.

Second, I grew up in small towns and small communities, with people who have small minds to match, and I KNOW from experience that unless a candidate actually does something to specifically piss that group off, old farts will ALWAYS vote for the incumbent. ALWAYS. You know why? (Old voice) "’Cuz that’s the way it’s been, and we like it that way."

Third, a hard and bitter reality is that our caustic political system has CREATED the Stepford Pod Person personae that the candidates are using. It’s plastic and it’s phony and it’s fake because that’s the only way that a candidate can survive nowadays. They can’t deal with any kind of sensitive political issue unless they can count on certain special interest groups to deliver them the win. So that smarmy, crooning, Pod Person is never going to talk about Social Security as long as he plans on pulling that Election Day bus up to pick up a bunch of old farts to get their vote.

And fourth… while I appreciate the general idea that people should be INFORMED about those that they vote for, I don’t think that telling people NOT to vote without that information is the way to go. We have a hard enough time just getting people TO the ballot box… especially for mid-term elections! And that same caustic political system is intentionally and systematically designed to turn people AWAY from the ballot box!

Let’s get brutally honest here… The Democrats and the Republicans DO NOT want you to be anywhere NEAR that ballot box if they cannot absolutely secure your vote! If they can’t put you down as 100% on their side, then you are considered a threat to their campaign. THAT’S why you see negative campaign ads! THAT’S why you see mud slinging, especially in this year’s season. That’s why you’re hearing about horror stories about these electronic voting machines and threats of hacking and vote-changing. It’s not to "enlighten" the voters. It is all done intentionally, deliberately, and systematically to KEEP YOU AWAY from the ballot box!

Is any of this sinking in yet? THEY DO NOT WANT YOU TO VOTE!

So I say a POX on the Old Fart’s Club and any other special interest group or talk show host that tries, either in jest, inference, or outright, to keep you away from that ballot box! YOU NEED to be at that ballot box. YOU NEED to fulfill your end of the deal here. If you don’t like how the way things are right now, if you don’t like the pissing games and the name-calling and the ineptitude and the corruption, then it is YOUR JOB and YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to get your sorry asses out to the ballot box and VOTE!

And if you don’t know who to vote for, I’ll make it really simple for you. If you don’t like the way things are right now, then you vote AGAINST the incumbent. I don’t care which party they represent! Vote them out! Vote third party if you have to. Put your own name down as a write-in candidate. If your state allows a "none-of-the-above" option then use it! But DON’T YOU DARE tell me that your vote doesn’t count! We spent a whole frigging MONTH in 2000 arguing over who won in Florida, and then again in Ohio in 2004. The only way that your vote will never count is if you never cast it! THAT is the ONLY wasted vote in America, and every single eligible voter who refuses to do their part in that regard has wasted not only their vote, but they also forfeit any justification to complain about how screwed up things are.

THIS is your system. THIS is your time! This is the ONLY time that polls and spin-doctors and the air-fluffed media have NO SAY on the course of action. It’s all up to YOU.

Now, on to that other matter… earlier in this rant I mentioned a little statement that I said was important. Three little words. "X equals 1". I said those words over and over and over again.

Now let’s suppose that I were to continually reiterate that statement of "X equals 1" over the course of… oh, I don’t know… let’s say three years. Bring it up at EVERY opportunity. Make it a regular talking point for all conversation. Recite it as a mantra, and get others to recite it as well.

Obviously, the statement itself…. "X equals 1"… really means nothing. It’s just a substitute for any kind of talking point mantra that you want to insert in its place. Like… oh, I don’t know… "keep on trucking"… or… "keep it going"… or something along those lines that I’m sure you’ve heard over and over and over again.

So now let’s suppose that I’ve reiterated that certain mantra of "X equals 1" over and over and over again for three years. Then I suddenly backtrack. Not only do I say that "X doesn’t equal 1" but I go so far as to DENY THAT I EVER SAID that "X equals 1".

Guess what you would call me if I did that? Yeah, you would damn well know what you would call me if I pulled that kind of a stunt. You would call me a LIAR! Some of you might even travel long distances just to get in my face and call me that.

So here’s my problem: there’s this guy over at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue who had a familiar little mantra that he reiterated over and over and over again for three years. Not only was it HIS mantra, but it was also a favorite mantra of his father. You may have heard of this mantra… it was called "stay the course". Well this past week, he backtracked and actually said that the whole thing in Iraq was NEVER about "stay the course"! Not only that, but his ass-kissers then claimed that he only said that phrase maybe eight times.

Eight? Eight, you say, Mister "former Fox News anchorman"? Try almost thirty! This was HIS mantra, this was his FATHER’S mantra, and it even was Ronald Reagan’s mantra!

So if I create a buzzword mantra and say it over and over and over again and then abandon and deny it and I’m called a LIAR for doing that… then what does that make the resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue when he does the very thing involving a policy that keeps thousands of Americans in harm’s way – for right reasons or not? Wouldn’t that person also be called a LIAR?

You know, eight years ago, the previous resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue got caught with a lie, and he was impeached for it. Obviously the circumstances surrounding this lie are completely different. The current resident of that address cannot be impeached for this particular lie. But we also shouldn’t cower away from calling it for what it is. It’s one thing to make a change when change is needed but you don’t start revising history to cover up the fact that you are making that change!

I know that the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue hates the reference, but that kind of action comes right out of a certain book by George Orwell. I would suggest that he include that book in his "reading list", but then again, I’m beginning to wonder if he doesn’t already have it right next to his Bible.

(Computer – oh come on, you know I’ll have a political mix for you to listen to!)
(Fade Music In – "Heretic, Hero" by Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori)

I’ll let you in on a little secret. Since I am a libertarian, I know that it’s not likely that my kind of candidates will ever win an election. I will still vote for them, though, because I’m being honest with myself. I was suckered into the whole "lesser of two evils" scam once, and I will never make that kind of Faustian deal again if I have anything to say about it! And guess what? Since I vote, I do have a say!

So pretty much the only pleasure that I derive from the political season is watching arrogant people fall! It’s pure Schadenfreude, and I’m man enough to admit it. But for the 99% of the time that myself and just about every American in this country gets screwed over by these arrogant, self-righteous, dickheads and prima donna bitches and their special interest buddies, it’s good to know that we have that 1% where we get the chance to put these people in their place.

THAT’S the real reason why I vote! It’s my way of letting the system know that after spending BILLIONS of dollars and wasting THOUSANDS of airtime minutes trying to get me to not vote, that I’m still there and I’m still voting my conscience. It’s my way of giving them a message… and that message can be best described not with buzzwords or talking points or really clever mantras, but with two simple letters… F-U!


Brutally Honest is a Get Brutal production, all opinions expressed are those of the commentator, and may or may not be shared by the online provider. This is David Matthews 2 saying good night, and I’ll speak with you soon!

(Fade out)
(Computer – Ending/"End of Recording")

[End of program]

Trick or Treat: Kerry's Trick

Okay, so it's after Halloween... but that doesn't mean there are a few extra tricks in store.

Specifically, Senator John Kerry's little "joke" about those who get an education and those who do not. This is certainly under the "trick" category, although no doubt Darth Rove and the Bush-brownnosers are calling this a "treat".

First let me make this clear... Kerry's gaffe WAS uncalled for. There are PLENTY of people with varying degrees of intelligence and education that are serving in the military, leaving open spaces in our homes and in our hearts as well as in the workforce. Instead of saying they "serve in Iraq", Kerry should have said that the undereducated can work in the White House.

But there is something that you need to understand: from John Kerry's generation - the one that fought in Vietnam - IT WAS about education!

Remember, unlike our current wars (both real and phony political), the young male generation of the 60's had to worry about being DRAFTED. Unless they had a college exemption (Bill Clinton), or got some sort of cushy reassignment (Ted Kennedy and Bush Junior), they had to worry about being DRAFTED and sent over to Vietnam to fight and possibly die.

Is this sinking in yet? In the 1960's, if you male and you went to college, you stayed alive. If you couldn't afford college, then you went to Vietnam!

THAT is why Kerry made the joke. It was still a bad one, and it was still uncalled for, but I wanted you to know the history behind it.

And even in bad taste, the joke would have made more sense if there was a draft in place.